Kayla Thea


DFA Fellows, Thea and Kayla have worked tirelessly over the last year to make DFA a better organization and to help students across the US apply design to local and social challenges. As they wrap up their year as Fellows, we wanted to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU for all their hard work and dedication and highlight some of their contributions to DFA throughout the year.

Passionate about creating more easy-to-use tools for students from all majors and backgrounds to more deeply understand the human-centered design process, these two have spearheaded the development of a beautiful and amazing DFA Process guide, which will be publicly released later this month. This 200 page book goes over the important “whats” and “whys” of every step of the DFA Process. It may be long, but the idea is that each section will be shared and distributed to teams as needed and integrated with our forthcoming online learning Loft. Below is a sneak peak.

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 8.48.51 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 8.49.18 PM

In addition, Thea and Kayla have been tremendous mentors to DFA students. Working with 5 campuses each,  below are just some words from DFA students they worked with this past year.

“Kayla has always been an amazing resource. She knew just what questions to ask to our teams to further develop projects, and she supported us through all our obstacles as a new studio. She will be missed this coming year! “-Alexis Shilf, Case Western + CIA 

“The pitching workshop that Thea developed and gave to our teams at the end of the semester was one of the best events that we ran as a DFA studio. Thea sincerely cared that students walked away from DFA experiences with tangible outcomes for their projects and tools that they can use for years to come.” – Rob, Virginia Tech

Here at DFA National, we wanted to be sure to send these two off with a proper goodbye so we had a lovely little dinner party with the Thea, Kayla, Sami and the new fellows…



and an architectural boat tour!



For more fun pics from the Fellows’ time this year, check out this album on Facebook here!

These two have made DFA internally so much better. The main mantra that stands out when it comes to these Fellows are, “be a good scientist.” They have pushed us in DFA to constantly document more thoroughly, clearly tie our outcomes to our goals with corresponding metrics, and base our decisions on data and evidence from our research. Like good designers, they have taken the design process and have applied it to DFA as an organization so that we can make more impact. They will forever be a part of DFA and we thank them for their service as Fellows.